Katie Mae Conway was born on September 9, 1926, in Lewisville, Arkansas; she was the eldest of 14 children born to Cleo and Essie Conway.
As the eldest child, Katie Mae learned responsibility early, taking care of her siblings and working for the family in her teenage years. She married Marshall York, Sr. in December, 1944, and gave birth to four children: James (Jimmy), Patricia Anne (Pat), Marshall Jr. (Rudy), and Burnetta Jean (Bonnie). In 1968 Katie Mae moved to Cleveland, Ohio, to join her sisters Lola Mae and Betty Jean.
A steadfast worker, Katie Mae eventually purchased her own house and made a loving home with Eddie Lovelace until his death in 1994. When Katie’s children produced grandchildren, she became lovingly known as “Ma” and opened her home to Tresa Williams, daughter of James York, and Roderick K. Jones, son of Patricia York. An expert seamstress and accomplished cook, Ma always welcomed people to her table with a plate and helped keep her grandchildren looking good.
In her later years, despite the challenges of suffering a stroke, losing her eyesight, and having a pace-maker installed, Ma’s faith, physical strength, and sense of humor helped her endure. She continued to cook and sew while living with and being cared for by Burnetta Jean (with help from family), and always welcomed her grandchildren, “great-grands,” family, and friends with bright smiles, strong hugs, and deep, warm chuckles.
She joins her parents Essie and Cleo Conway, her husband Marshall, her daughter Patricia Anne, and her granddaughter Tekalia York in the afterlife, along her sisters Celie Conway, Willie Mae McDaniels, and Betty Jean Conway Berry; she also rejoins in the hereafter her brothers Tommy Allen, Essie, James, and Bobby Conway. She leaves to mourn: brothers Ike, John, Clarence, and Harry; sisters Lola Mae Conway Blackmon and Gloria Dean Conway Hallman; children James, Marshall Jr., and Burnetta Jean; grandchildren Roderick K. Jones, Tresa Williams, Tracy Cross Lucas, Teri Cross Davis, Toni Cross, Tyler Parker, Jamir York, Jimmy York, Jr., Leigha York, and a multitude of great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.